1. Terrible Twos were set up in the corner of the cinder-walled room, wedged between a door that opens into an unpaved parking lot and a single bulb on the wall (i.e. the lighting system). The ceiling above was in a state of disrepair, the sheetrock falling apart and exposing the uninsulated guts of the building. Despite the chilly mid-November temperatures outside, enough bodies were packed in front of the band that the lack of heat or insulation weren’t noticeable. This was the show after the last show at Popeye’s Garage, the venue having been granted a stay of execution after a sale of the property to nearby Yale University fell through, and although the plan was to use the space minimally during the cold winter months an exception was made when Tyvek and Terrible Twos needed a gig in town.
The venue is currently staffed by Stefan Christensen and Kryssi Battalene; in addition to making up Popeye’s collective, the duo also runs Gramery Records and are both knee deep in various music and noise making endeavors, sometimes together. On the night Tyvek and company rolled into town, Kryssi was holding fort in the back room where the touring bands set up merch, stationed behind a folding table selling cans of Schaeffer for $2 a pop to benefit the space. Stefan roamed the room chatting up the crowd before hitting them up for money for the touring bands. The Popeye’s vibe is laid back, which allows them a laissez faire approach: when enough people trickle in it’s time for the openers, when the beer sells out it’s time for the last band to step up.
Terrible Twos were up first and launched into their set about an hour later than advertised, but still earlier than some would have preferred, as Tyvek were still en route. It’s been said before, but listening to their set I was reminded again: their sound, driven by organ but intensified with a loud, trebly guitar attack is distinctly Detroit, sons of Piranhas, cousins of Red Red Red. Their setlist was arms-length and lasted for long enough for the crowd to double, Tyvek to show up, things to descend out of sober into a different state.
At this point, Stefan traded in his collection plate for a guitar as Estrogen Highs debuted a new lineup for at least the second time in the last few months. With a new album and tour coming up, the band dedicated most of their set playing songs that few in the audience had heard. In the past, they’ve covered The Fugs, Big Boys, Marshall Tucker, Flipper, and New Zealand’s Bats (or did I just dream that?) and have taken inspiration from these groups (and many more) as their songwriting has continually evolved into a unique voice offering songs full of both big hooks and subtle melodies that creep up and hit you down the line. Despite personnel changes, the band has become a force live, tight and fiercely hammering away, full of movement and energy. Their set, feeding off an increasingly wild and drunken crowd, was a fine example of the band at their best.
Tyvek seem to be constantly on tour, or at least constantly taking trips to the Northeast. With each pass through they have a new look, a new arsenal of songs, a new table full of cassettes documenting the practices and shows that have taken place since their last visit. The package breeds familiarity, makes it seem like the band are locals. Although Tyvek’s set was comprised mainly of tracks from their just released album, they were old favorites for many of us, having spent countless hours at gigs and with the tapes. The crowd was drunken and rowdy, and fed off the band’s energy—jumping to the beat, singing along, whipping one another around the room. Loud fast rules. After they’d finished up and everyone took a second to refocus, the crowd dissipated back from whence they’d come, leaving Popeye’s Garage a little more beat up and worn in than they’d found it (a little more like home).
2. Nestled on the Long Island Sound about halfway between Manhattan and Boston, New Haven is a strange place with a mix of high culture and a middle-of-nowhere small town feel. Yale brings in an affluent crowd and keeps stock of museums that rival either of their big city neighbors, but it’s the locals, who all seem to know each other, who provide New Haven’s character. But as far as music, regular venues have been few and far between in recent years. Before Popeye’s, the scene existed either in 21+ bars or residential basements that were often great but small and always risky for the people living there. The basement venues tended to be unstable, with shows falling through as landlord or neighbor issues arose.
Adjacent to a Popeye’s Chicken just northeast of Yale’s campus lies a garage with no markings of its own.
At first glance, it appears unused but sometimes functions as a car detailing shop, a warehouse for a flower salesman, and part-time apartment for the building’s owner and has, since April 1, also been home to a collective of artists and musicians who have used the space as a way to hurl their creations out of the basements and bars and into a common building with less threat of police (there have been no police troubles since the venue opened).
In the months since taking over the back room of the garage, the collective has dwindled to two members—Stefan and Kryssi—who have maintained the space for two art exhibits and more than 40 shows and events. It has become a practice and recording spot for numerous local bands, including Estrogen Highs and Kryssi’s Cologuard. It has meant a stable spot to book touring bands, a regular hang out for locals, a place for the like-minded to plot their next moves together.
In October the collective got word that the gig was up, the landlord was selling the building to Yale. The lot is not big enough to build much, and it is doubtful they held the view of the venue as a cultural landmark. What Yale wants with the garage is a good question but I suppose any land within a stone’s throw of campus is on their radar, even if it’s on the other side of a street that most Yalies do not cross. A last rush of shows was booked before putting the place to sleep. Except the Yale deal fell through; the venue was granted a stay of execution, and Tyvek came to town.
3. Stefan and I recently conversed via email to catch up on the state of affairs of New Haven, Popeye’s, and Estrogen Highs. This was our second attempt at an interview, the first occurring on March 9th, 2008. It was over a week before the world celebrated St. Patrick’s Day, but New Haven, always ahead of the curve, had shut down to gather together for a parade, allegedly Connecticut’s largest spectator event. We talked aimlessly for about an hour and that tape has sat next to my computer ever since, where it will continue to rest for the foreseeable future. Here’s take two…
TB: Tell me about New Haven. As an outsider, it seems like there are a couple of faces to the town, split between the university presence and everyone else. Are there a lot of artists, musicians, people into creating any sort of sub-culture?
STEFAN: Yeah, it’s a pretty divided city. Downtown is dominated by Yale and the rest of the city is pretty different. It’s a constant battle between the Yalies and the Townies. There is a lot of resentment about Yale because they don’t pay taxes and the student body is fairly unwilling to engage in anything to do with the city. It’s weird for sure. There are large portions of the city that I have never actually seen, since it’s Yale territory. It’s kind of fucked, they can go wherever they want but I haven’t actually seen a lot of downtown because I’m not allowed in. They also own the majority of expensive property and don’t pay taxes on it. It’s pretty backwards and puts the city in a real difficult position a lot of the time.
As far as creative people it’s a pretty small scene but I like it. Everyone is very connected because the city is not big enough to facilitate a punk scene, or an art scene, or a noise scene, etc, separately. Everyone winds up being very connected and constantly exposed to other things. This has an interesting effect on what goes on here. It also makes for lots of awkward relationships when you can’t seem to escape the people who you don’t want to see anymore.
TB: It also seems like your city is full of oddball weirdos with local celebrity status. Am I making that up? Any memorable encounters?
STEFAN: Yeah, definitely true. My personal favorites are Tizzy, Joe Comfort, Jermaine, and Gregory. Gregory used to try to swoon my girlfriend who worked at the coffee shop he stands in front of practicing karate and bumming cigarettes (oh he’s also six foot three, 200+ pounds, and a completely insane paranoid schizophrenic). If he asks you for a cigarette you can reply by saying, “No I don’t have one Gregory, do you have one?” and a lot of the time he’ll give you one. Joe Comfort called all Yale students racists in the local paper, which was fantastic. He’s a remarkably good liar too. Tizzy draws portraits of Superman and constantly carries his portfolio around with him. He hangs around the same coffee shop as Gregory but is banned from the ice cream shop next door. And Jermaine is just crazy and sometimes comes to shows. Rick Best the Poet is another one, I wrote a song about him. He’s not around anymore, as far as I can tell. I assume he finally got locked up for an extended period of time.
TB: Are there any traces of first wave New Haven punk? Any old timers still lurking back rooms of bars with tales about the Poodle Boys or Bats or whoever?
STEFAN: Yeah, they definitely exist. Poodle Boys played a reunion last year. Some of the guys from Dumptruck are still around and they still get covered in the papers for some reason. Miracle Legion guys are still around for the most part too. I’m not sure about the Bats guys. I don’t know any of those guys but I do know a lot of guys from old punk bands that live here now; CIA, 76% Uncertain, Lost Generation, etc. A lot of those guys live in New Haven and make their way to shows and such. And also guys from the old crust scene like Deformed Conscience, React, Hail of Rage, Mankind, and others are still around.
TB: Are there any local bands (from any era) that have had a profound impact on you — either in terms of affecting the music that you write or your outlook about what music/art/etc should be?
STEFAN: I don’t know that there are any specific bands but I think the general attitude of people around here has. Things have never been particularly cool here, so everyone has always had to make their own scene. There’s a real DIY aesthetic to the whole thing. I have a lot of respect for it and I try to hold it as my own value.
TB: As you know, I am extremely concerned with the state of New Haven pizza. Let’s hear your take on the scene.
STEFAN: I would say that I am definitely a champion of the pizza scene here. The classics are Pepe’s and Sally's. Both are fantastic and both were featured on the Food Network. However, I think the locals all know that Modern is where it’s at. Bar is very good but I don’t think quite reaches the levels of any of the aforementioned (though Bar is still better than the majority of pizza places you find anywhere else). I’ve been described by Wes as a pizza adventurer because of my willingness to try different places when others hold to their standbys and classics. I’d say that the best down low, unheard of spot in town is Ernie’s on Whalley Ave. Dayton Street is good but a little too doughy if you ask me. Zupardi’s in West Haven is on par with the Big Three (Sally’s, Pepe’s, and Modern) but is a bit of a drive. Pizza Haven and Alpha Delta hold down the non-traditional Greek style pretty solidly. And Brick Oven on Howe Street is the best bang for your buck slices. Triple A is decent but I wouldn’t waste too much time there, same goes for Whalley Pizza. Downtown spots like A-1 and Yorkside stay in business strictly because of location and are not worthwhile at all.
TB: OK, so I want you to talk about New Haven venues that have opened doors to punk and noise. I logged many miles driving to the Tune Inn back in the day; what options have there been since it closed? Has it mostly been bars and basements? Do any of the bars allow all ages shows?
STEFAN: There are currently no bars with all ages shows, which is a bummer but as always there is a thriving basement scene. The Tune Inn was fun, though I think I was just a bit young and missed a lot of the hey-day. Café 9 has been a mainstay for smaller bands for over 30 years and is a good bar to have shows at. It’s not all ages but is pretty enjoyable. We had our record release show there two nights ago. There have been a few other proper venues to open their doors to punk shows over the last few years but most were short lived and quickly shut down. West Cove and Arlow come to mind.
On the other hand, there have been numerous house/warehouse/basement venues. Fort Sunshine is sort of legendary because of its party vibe. 75 Blake Street was much the same. The Fucking Discovery Zone is another and it’s been going strong for some time. A new one just popped up down the road from the FDZ but apparently is Yale owned and operated, so the school subsidizes the whole thing. The bastards get everything handed to them, even DIY. The Submarine handles the big parties and occasional shows. Recently opened bookstore, Detritus, does some interesting shows from time to time. The Captain’s House has been around for years but seems to have slowed down.
TB: I’ve seen some great New Haven basement shows, all of which seemed like they could have been broken up by police at any moment. How often did that happen? Was that sort of thing—threat by cops, neighbors, landlords—the impetus for you guys to go out and find a spot that you could transform into a venue?
STEFAN: It’s actually a surprisingly small number of shows that have been shut down, in my memory anyway. I don’t know why that is because they are often pretty ruckus. I guess we have gone through house venues just because people get sick of living there and don’t want to do it anymore. I guess Fort Sunshine got evicted and had quite a few run-ins with the cops but some of the others literally had no problems. If you do stuff in a fucked up enough part of town then people won’t care I guess.
I think the main thing with getting a venue together was being able to have a place that would last and not having it left to whoever lived at the house to determine how shows would work or happen. We also wanted a place that we could bring in relatively unknown acts without the worry of a bar or venue demanding a cut, or the hassle of worry about cops, or neighbors, or whoever. And also not having to answer to anyone else, just being accountable for what we were trying to accomplish and that being that.
TB: How did the collective form, and how long did it take to find Popeye’s? How quickly were you able to rally the troops to get it up and running?
STEFAN: It took a few months to figure out the location of Popeye’s. We looked into various spots but none of the rest worked out. A lot of them were too much trouble with the landlords and trying to assure them that what we were doing was going to be okay. When we did find Popeye’s it was perfect because we already knew the landlord and he was very accommodating to what we were doing. The collective formed within a week of Kryssi and me finding the place and by the time everything was negotiated for rent and such we were working on getting it up and running. We had to clear a ton of garbage and junk from the spot and build walls in the back. We had our first event on the 17th of April, which was 17 days after we were allowed to start making renovations to the space. So it was pretty fast moving.
TB: Has having a stable venue helped bring together corners of the scene that may otherwise have stayed isolated in their own basements? Any collaborations born out of this sort of thing?
STEFAN: As I said before there has always been a mingling of scenes here because of how small the city is, and how minuscule the “underground” is. So, it wasn’t that no one had met or shared ideas before. However, I do think that Popeye’s has encouraged people to expand a bit more. Popeye’s has been a place for people to go consistently and hear music, see art, or whatever. I think that a lot of people just got more exposed to new things at Popeye’s, because something was happening here, not just because their favorite band was playing. People just come because it is something to do that is more interesting than going to the same bars or people’s houses every night. So, naturally folks saw stuff that they wouldn’t have seen otherwise. I think one of the biggest helpers in this was our movie night series, which took a local band and gave them a set of music and choice of movie to show. People would come out to see the movie and then stick around for the set. It was a nice way to introduce a band to people, or to just share a little something extra about them.
TB: What was your favorite show at Popeye’s?
STEFAN: The last two have actually been my favorites. Maybe it was because a lot of the pressure to make money has been off lately because of the shaky situation we are in with keeping the place. But the last two shows have been so much fun. One was Tyvek, Terrible Twos, and Estrogen Highs, and everyone just let loose and had a blast. It was really drunken and wild and just a great time. The other was 15 local bands playing one-minute sets a piece. I ran around with a stop watch pulling the plug on people and it was really interesting to see what people had up their sleeves for a one minute set. Lots of interesting stuff and it went really smoothly. Plus there ended up being some great impromptu collaborations at the end of the night. Other favorites include MLU and Lazy Magnet, one of our first shows actually, the Home Blitz show was really great, the night we mashed together two big noise tours was good and cool collaborations happened (I think the lineup ended up being Body Morph/Colorguard collab, Criminals, Sky Limousine, Sick Llama, Dog Lady, Weirding Module, and maybe a Bella Reese collab with somebody—I don’t remember, it was a lot).
TB: What have been the biggest challenges in keeping the venue running?
STEFAN: Money is always an issue. It’s really hard to keep the funds up and make sure that you have enough money for beer, rent, upkeep, and then, of course, paying the bands. It’s really a headache and can be quite scary at times. You also have to contend with some haters. There is always someone around to tell you what you’re doing wrong, or why your place isn’t cool/fun/etc. A lot of times I just nod my head and say “Thanks for the advice!” to avoid yelling; some people I just yell at.
TB: What does the future hold for Popeye’s?
STEFAN: The future is up in the air. We paid off the landlord till March 1 because there is no heat and we can’t do too many events because of that. Not to mention winter just has less touring bands or reasons to do shows. He gave us extraordinarily cheap rent till then. We will then have to start paying normal rent again in March, but we’re not even sure if our same landlord will be there. If the building sells then we are getting kicked out. There isn’t much question about that. Yale was going to buy the building but they backed out last minute. That caused us a big scare, and we even had our “last show” one time. We’re there for the time being but only time will tell how long we really have it for.
TB: Switching gears, how’d you end up in New Haven? Has the city affected your music? Less psychological isolation? Where were you living when you first started recording Estrogen Highs stuff?
STEFAN: I ended up in New Haven cause I was sick of living at my parents’ house. I had tried to go to school once and it didn’t really work out. I ended up back at my parents’ house, just working, and being pretty depressed. I was playing in Sudden Walks at the time, which was a band that I always wanted to be more active than it turned out to be. I was working in a music store and got a decent employee discount that I used to buy a bunch of instruments. I started recording and made a demo CD-R. I always thought that that was as far as Estrogen Highs was going to go. But then some people actually liked it and asked to put out records and stuff. I got excited about the idea and it was right when I was moving to New Haven to try school for a second time. The city had an almost immediate impact on the music. I quickly turned it into a real band and started writing a lot of songs. The city itself became an interesting topic of song writing for me. I was happy to be in a more urban environment but one that still maintained a close community type feel.
TB: Has the transformation into a band changed the way you write or record songs?
STEFAN: Absolutely. It radically altered the direction in which I write songs. I no longer think about things like how to play parts on drums with my minimal skills, or how to deal with interchanging guitar parts and such. It just feels a bit freer, knowing that I don’t have to be completely reliant on myself to do everything.
Recording has remained pretty similar. I still play drums or bass or synth or whatever on different songs and sometimes it is still all me, on the new LP at least. The recording still remains all analog and mostly 4 track at that. We did the first LP on 8 track reel to reel, which was really fun but not what I’m used to.
TB: It’s funny—even since changing Estrogen Highs from a recording project into a full time band, you always seem to have a studio project or two in the works. Is there just always a need for you to have that secondary, solitary outlet? Do you prefer solo, or are there things that you get out of that that you can’t in a band?
STEFAN: I guess I just like to stay busy. The solo recording projects are mostly just outlets that I want to do as one-off kind of things. I did the black metal band (Ehrgeizig) just because I always wanted to play in one but it seemed like a pain in the ass to form the band. Same thing with the synth project I did this past year, Ink. I guess I find the solo thing to be nice because I get to call all the shots and do everything on my own terms. It’s especially nice for things that I’m not totally committed to but would like to get down and see what happens.
TB: Give a quick rundown of what projects and labels you’ve been working on lately.
STEFAN: Estrogen Highs is the main thing. I’ve been playing bass in a crust band called Iron Hand. I recently cut a full length recording of synth noise stuff called Ink. Me and my girlfriend recently started Gramery Records, which I guess puts an end to Never Heard Of It Records. I play guitar in the live lineup of Medication.
TB: Quickly, tell me one story about each of the following: Hatebreed.
STEFAN: Love them. I’ve seen them over 20 times. I’ve seen them as recently as last summer. I witnessed my first FSU beatdown at a Hatebreed show. Actually, I witnessed so much violence because of Hatebreed by the time I was 15 that I was completely desensitized to everything from then on. I have a stick and poke tat on my arm. They are a right of passage in Connecticut. I don’t know anybody in CT who hasn’t seen them at least five times.
TB: Polish fashion magazines.
STEFAN: When I was 16 I was in a ten page spread in a Polish fashion magazine called Fluid. My sister worked for a magazine and the editor also edited that magazine. He saw some photos of me and decided he wanted to use me for a shoot involving a storyline of a teenager having relations with an older woman. So, I was the teenager, and the older woman was Anthony Kiedis’ girlfriend at the time. I was so nervous and awkward about the whole thing. I told my high school friends that I played it totally cool and hit on her but in actuality I was just really nervous and hated the whole thing. You can see my His Hero is Gone poster in one of the pictures in the magazine.
TB: The Ultimate Warrior.
STEFAN: Love him. Have a shrine to him in my room. I was the Warrior for Halloween three years in a row from 6-8 years old.
STEFAN: I have a lot of good stories about this. Not sure how much I can share. I think I’ll just say that this is very important to me and I spend more time with it than music.
TB: That Craigslist ad.
STEFAN: We never figured out who wrote it, they never replied to us. Basically the ad was looking to start a “white power noise rock band.” It listed influences that included NSBM bands, Skrewdriver, and us.
TB: How many tours have Estrogen Highs done? What was the most played album for each tour? Where have you gone? Where haven’t you gone?
STEFAN: We leave in ten days for our fifth tour, which will be our first full US tour. Previously we’ve done the Midwest, East Coast, and South.
We once listened to nothing but “Panama” by Van Halen from Orlando to Mobile, AL. Mark was crying and laughing at the same time by the end of it. It was fantastic. Last tour we listened to “Shock Troops” almost exclusively.
TB: Tell me about your most miserable tour moment. Has touring brought the band closer together or made you want to kill one another? Even at the worst, would you rather be anywhere other than in the van driving across the country to play music?
STEFAN: I’d rather tour than just about anything else. It’s really the best and has definitely brought me closer to my band mates. They’re definitely my best friends. That being said there have been some really low moments. There has to be, being in a van with the same people for so long, you just lose it eventually. I think the lowest moment was probably after a show in Memphis when we drove overnight to Milwaukee. We stopped for gas in the middle of nowhere and the whole van filled with mosquitoes. We got eaten alive. When the sun came up we saw that our blood and dead mosquitoes were splattered everyone. No one slept the whole time. We got to the show and thought we might get a nap in but instead there was a party there. A few of us ended up in fistfights. I was at a particularly low moment in my life otherwise, and I ended up locked in the van by myself for hours. The combination of sleep deprivation and booze led us all into our own individual holes. We just didn’t speak about it after.
TB: Any fantastic tour moments where you thought life couldn’t possibly be better?
STEFAN: I don’t know if there is one specific moment. When tour is good, it’s so good nothing can stop you.
4. Estrogen Highs Winter 2011 US Tour
1/1 - New Brunswick, NJ - House Show
1/2 - TBA (Charlotte fell through, no idea what we're doing)
1/3 - Chapel Hill, NC - Nightlight
1/4 - Atlanta, GA - 529
1/5 - Orlando, FL - TBA
1/6 - New Orleans, LA - 2227 St. Claude
1/7 - Houston, TX - Super Happy Fun Land
1/8 - Denton, TX - Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios
1/9 - Austin, TX - Club Deville
1/10 - Las Cruces, NM - The Trainyard
1/11 - Phoenix, AZ - Sound Kontrol
1/12 - San Diego, CA - Soda Bar
1/13 - Long Beach, CA - The Prospector
1/14 - San Francisco, CA - TBA
1/15 - Oakland, CA - Eli's Mile High Club
1/16 - Sacramento, CA - hopefully The Hub or live on KDVS or both
1/17 - Portland, OR - East End
1/18 - Olympia, WA - TBA
1/19 - Vancouver, BC - Astoria Hotel
1/20 - Seattle, WA - TBA
1/22 - Minneapolis, MN - Hexagon Bar
1/23 - Des Moines, IA - TBA
1/24 - Milwaukee, WI - Ground Zero
1/25 - Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle
1/26 - Detroit, MI - Magic Stick
1/27 - Ft. Wayne, IN - Brass Rail
1/28 - Columbus, OH - Carabar
1/29 - Brooklyn, NY - Tommy's Tavern
5. TB: Let’s run down all of your releases. (Title, label, format, release month/year). Tell me something interesting about each (circumstances, anecdote, something).
(Ed.: below is a fantastic discography/collage made by Sarah Janet that you can view here at a readable size, which you really should, because it's pretty damn cool!!)
Career Suicide - Demo Tape
- I was 15, my first band. Career Suicide from Toronto challenged us to “thrash off” for the rights to the name but then we broke up, so they won. 2001.
Last Words - Demo and “Isolation” CD
- My favorite band I ever played in. I’m super proud of this band and will continue to be disappointed that the CD never made it to 12” like it was supposed to and that the band never did as much as I wanted it to. Demo was 2003 and CD was 2004 on Wintermute/Room 101 Records.
Sudden Walks- Demo CDRs
Two demo CDRs, one from the end of 2005 and one from the beginning of 2006. Both are terrible, but especially the first one.
Sudden Walks - first 7” ("My Nerves Are Fucking Shot")
Cut in such a haze. The tracks are mixed differently and the levels go up and down but I still like this record. I was so proud of the regular version cover I made and then everyone else just loved the limited one. Even if this was self-released it was a real triumph after the disaster that Last Words ended up being and never getting a proper vinyl release from that band. Wintermute/Never Heard Of It Records, 2006.
Casual Sexists - Demo Tape
Recorded, mixed, dubbed, photocopied, etc. in one night with my friend Sam. We later played one show. 2006 sometime.
Sudden Walks - 2nd 7” ("Haulin Ass Gettin Paid")
Had to record this in pieces cause our drummer moved to Japan and quickly recorded the drums before he left. This record has one of my favorite songs I ever wrote (“She Keeps Me Depraved”). A cover of the Styphnoids from this recording session was also on the 'Killed by Trash 2' compilation on P.Trash. 2007, P.Trash Records/FDH Records.
Estrogen Highs - Demo CD-R
Later was remixed and mastered for the Milk’N’Herpes “She Don’t Bother EP” 7” and “E Major D Construction” 7" on Never Heard Of It. 2007.
Estrogen Highs - Tour Tape
Horrible mess to make these. We had a disastrous recording session that ended with me threatening the life of the engineer and getting our money back. That recording wasn’t used, so two days before leaving for tour we recorded in our basement and the day before leaving I dubbed all the tapes and assembled all the covers. I hate thinking about this tape. 2007.
Estrogen Highs - s/t cassette
This was really fun to record because we got to do the Fugs cover song that was a blast to do with all our friends on back ups and playing instruments like zithers and tambourines. 2008, Telephone Explosion Records.
Estrogen Highs - "Two 7”s on a CD"
This has two different covers and we made these in 2008 to have something extra for our tour. I think the Telephone Explosion tape is on this too. I think we made 25 of each cover. 2008.
Estrogen Highs “Luxury is God” 7”
Recorded in the same session as the first LP. “They Told Me I was Everything” is amongst my favorite E-Highs songs. I had a melt down while doing the vocals on that track and completely freaked out on a room full of people when they told me they didn’t think they sounded quite right. This record was down to the wire to get out in time for our summer tour. We had to reject a test press and we literally put them together days before leaving. Never Heard Of It Records, 2008.
Ehrgeizig - Demo Tape
Black metal band I did. I played everything on this recording. I always wanted to play in a black metal band and it never worked out. So one day I just decided to do it. I took the riffs I had and recorded all the music in one day. My neighbors came upstairs to ask if everything was ok while I was recording the vocals. Never Heard Of It Records, 2008.
Permanent Feels - Demo Tape
I hate this release. These are such rough sketches of songs, I don’t know why I decided to put it out. It’s me solo again. Some of this stuff would go on to be E Highs material. Never Heard Of It Records, 2008.
Estrogen Highs - “Tell It to Them” LP
Recorded on 8 track reel to reel. I was very happy with this record overall and still am. Dead Beat Records, 2008.
Ehrgeizig - Live Tape
The black metal band had a short-lived full lineup. We played five shows or something and recorded one for this tape. I like this tape, it’s blown out as fuck. 2009.
"Judges Cave: The Hidden Sounds of New Haven" Cassette Boxed Set
I put this out as the last release of Never Heard Of It Records. This was truly a pain in the ass to make. Eight bands on this, all from New Haven-ish. Comes with a zine, and in a spray painted box. There are four cassettes. It’s all themed to this place Judges Cave in New Haven. This has the only full band recording of Medication. I also play in Ehrgeizig and Permanent Feels on this. And some of the aborted Sudden Walks LP session is included. Other bands are Roman Wolfe, Colorguard, Female, and Bible Frost. I made 66 of them, which was too many. Never Heard Of It Records, 2009.
Estrogen Highs “Friends and Relatives” LP
Long time in the making. Me, Mark, and Wes recorded this over about a year. I’m very proud of it. We got very high on spray glue while making the covers, which is reflected in what some of the individualized labels say. Gramery Records, 2010.
Estrogen Highs “Cycles EP” 12”
Same recording session (if you can call it that) as the “Friends & Relatives” LP. Two of the tracks have Ross on drums, which is cool cause he’s a beast of a drummer. Carlos was very accommodating in the release of this record. Safety Meeting Records, 2011.
Coming Soon: two Iron Hand 7”s, Ink cassette tape, solo track on a lathe cut comp that comes with a zine, and an Estrogen Highs cassette tape.
Estrogen Highs on the web here and Gramery Records here.
Pics provided by Stefan and the Hyde Brothers.
Interview by Dave Hyde, 2010.
To read other TB interviews, go here.
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